Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Raphael Verela, founder, and owner of Circuit Works, located in Santa Monica, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My Business services are H.I.I.T. (High-Intensity Interval Training) coupled with personal training in a group setting. Our product is community. Over the past 20 years, we've learned that motivation gets our clients to show up, consistency gets them results, but the community keeps them coming back.

Tell us about yourself

I'm a six-year United States Marine Corps veteran who first created Optimum Boot Camp. During that time, I also trained pre-Boot Camp recruits with an emphasis on muscle strength development and cardiovascular endurance. My experience and education in the health and fitness industry got me recognized as one of the best trainers in Southern California in 2006.

I attended Oregon State University as an Exercise Physiology major and am certified by the American Council in the following disciplines:
- Exercise
- Progressive Fitness accredited training programs
- Future Fit
- Sports Telesis
- Nutrition Technician
- Muscle Lab 1 resistance training.

What inspired me to create the Circuit Works fitness studio was not only my military background but also my athletic history competing in M.M.A., baseball, football, and track and field. I wanted to offer the practical knowledge of an athlete and an outdoors person, coupled with scientific and clinical research, all of which are combined to design an effective personal group training program like Circuit Works. A program that benefits everyone, regardless of age, level of fitness, weight, or busy personal schedule.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Establishing a franchise business model. Creating a scalable business.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Stepping away from the technician role and more into being the visionary. Getting your business to run without you is key.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Create Systems for everything.
  2. Organization is key.
  3. Enroll people smarter than you in your vision.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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